United we must stand or divided we will surely fall

It is 5:09 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2004. Despite the extreme exhaustion and fatigue that overwhelms me, I cannot sleep. I cannot sleep due to the depth of the knowledge that within the next 16 to 24 hours, history’s course in this nation-that I love so dearly —- will be altered severely. I cannot sleep because I fear the challenges we face will not be faced as a united people. I cannot sleep because I know those challenges cannot be dealt with by a divided nation.

The war on terror cannot be won by a nation terrorizing itself from within. The wounds created by an embattled election cannot be healed by continuing political attacks on the winner. The man elected president must be given the mandate by the people to lead. Partisan lines must be torn down for the good of the country. If we handicap the winner of this election, we are handicapping our very ability to fight and win the war on terror.

The name given to our country by its founders is indicative of from where this great nation draws its strength. The United States of America. When the declaration of independence was signed, we stood united. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, we stood united. When directly faced with the threat of communism taking the liberties and freedoms we hold dear away from us, we stood united. It was because of our unity in those trying times that we were successful in defending our nation. For us to be successful in the war on terror, we must have that same unity again.

It is important to realize that Bush and Kerry both have inspiring qualities; John Kerry honorably served his nation in the Vietnam war, George W. Bush instilled faith and hope in a nation at one of its greatest times of need after we were rocked by the attacks of Sept. 11.

Intelligent disagreement is always a necessary part of our country, but the vicious onslaught of attacks from both parties that began in 2000, and have continued through to today must be ended. You can disagree with the philosophies these two men employ in leading, but it is illogical to discount the merit of either man’s candidacy. I refuse to believe nearly half of this nation would so fervently support a man not capable of doing the job.

With that in mind, we must all realize the importance of moving forward and repairing the fractures in our society. We must move forward and remember that whoever is in the oval office realizes just the same as you and I that the enemy does not congregate on one side of the aisle in congress, they congregate all across the globe- and they aim to destroy our way of life.

The only way for us to lose the war on terror, is to falter from within. Resolute and unified, we will not lose this war. It starts right now. Whether I am speaking of the re-elected President Bush or President-elect Kerry, I am calling for Americans everywhere to stand behind our leader. From California and New York, to Texas and Georgia; we must feel the urgency and come together as one. United we must stand!

Don Donelson can be contacted at d.donelson@umiami.edu.